Micron announces 2024 start for construction on clay semiconductor plant

Micron Technology announced it will begin construction in 2024 on its Clay, New York facility during Gov. Kathy Hochul’s press conference at Syracuse Hotel on Monday. The semiconductor manufacturer’s pledge of up to $100 billion for the facility stands to transform the regional economy.

In October 2022, Micron first announced plans for its historic investment to build a 1,400-acre semiconductor manufacturing plant just north of Syracuse. A study from Regional Economic Models, which Gov. Kathy Hochul cited in a November press release, projected the plant would add $16.7 billion in economic output and almost $10 billion in real Gross Domestic Product over its first 31 years of operations.

Four months later, Manish Bhatia, Executive Vice President of Global Operations at Micron, spoke to the investment timeline and identified the 2024 start date. He said site preparation is currently underway.

Bhatia also laid out Micron’s long-term vision for the full investment, which is the largest private investment in New York state’s history. Micron plans to fulfill the $100 billion investment over the next two-plus decades, Bhatia said.

The first phase of the plan will be the Clay plant, a $20 billion investment expected to be completed and operational by 2030.

Micron will begin equipping the factory in the second half of the decade, Bhatia said. He said the timeline is intended to take advantage of demand trends in the semiconductor market.

“We expect (the) semiconductor memory manufacturing market to double in size, from approximately $160 billion last year to more than $300 billion by the end of the decade, and we will be timing our investments to be able to capture that.”

The investment represents a significant development in the New York state labor market, and an expected influx in central New York’s workforce. Micron expects the plant to generate 9,000 jobs directly and 50,000 jobs total once all four planned facilities in the region have been built.

Now, labor organizations across the region are working to prime the local workforce for such jobs.

“(Micron’s investment) will only increase the demand for talented workers across our region; this is why we are actively promoting opportunities for increasing diversity in manufacturing,” Amy Stage, Director of Apprenticeship and Workforce Development at The Manufacturers Association of New York State, told the Daily Orange.

The public sector is reciprocating the efforts. Hochul has allotted an additional $1 million to the Syracuse Build Pathways to Apprenticeship and Syracuse Surge High-Tech Careers Bridge Programs as part of the FY2024 budget. These initiatives are concerned with apprenticeship creation and exposure to the semiconductor industry, both of which will serve to equip the local workforce in response to Micron’s arrival.

New York is now home to 76 semiconductor companies that employ over 34,000 New Yorkers. With the new investments in the semiconductor education initiatives, Hochul set out plans to continue to train New Yorkers to fill these positions via investments like Micron Collaboration Classroom, which will train students in semiconductor and microelectronics industries.